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With Kenya poised to embrace growing and importing genetically modified crops, Ugandan farmers and scientists bemoan their country’s inaction

The decision last fall by newly-elected Kenyan President, Dr. William Samoei arap Ruto to lift his country’s 10-year ban on GM-food imports and cultivation —currently being evaluated by the High Court — has sparked a grassroots push in neighboring Uganda to follow Kenya’s president’s embrace of modern ag technology.  

Scientists and farmers in Uganda, which neighbors Kenya to the west, have welcomed Ruto’s move, hopeful they will gain access to GM-seeds through the porous border. Uganda has lagged behind Kenya over the years in agricultural innovation. Farmers eager for the latest innovations have been accessing hybrid maize and other improved agri-technologies from Kenya since the late 1960s. 

Kenya, an economic powerhouse on the continent with a large commercial agricultural sector, is Uganda’s biggest trading partner. Kenyans who live in the western region where Bt (GM)-cotton is being openly cultivated, are ethnically closely-related to eastern Ugandans. They informally exchange goods and services daily, including seeds and other planting materials.

Read the entire article at the Genetic Literacy Project.